“I Would Rather Recruit a Candidate with the Right Set of Behavior”- Ms. Biscut of DIAGEO-Ethiopia


We had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Biscut Tefferi: A Talent Engagement Business Partner at DIAGEO-Ethiopia. Get the inside scoop and what she thinks makes a good job candidate and much more!


  1. Tell us about yourself

My name is Biscut; a graduate from Addis Ababa University with a Major in Management and a second degree in Accounting and Finance. I have been in the HR field for over 7 years, with a focus on talent selection, general human resource management, and currently a talent management partner with DIAGEO.


  1. What is the best part about working for DIAGEO?

I joined DIAGEO for career growth and a chance to fully specialize in Recruitment and Selection. The best part in working for DIAGEO is the value they attach to their people. They value and support the employees to achieve their maximum potential. Working with DIAGEO has given me value, supported my dreams and helped me grow my talent.


  1. What is your leadership style? Have you adjusted it over time?

I have a small group that reports to me and I believe in leading from within. My team sees me as part of them rather than a boss and this encourages open communication which makes it easier to understand their needs and offer the right support. There are moments though where I have to make the tough call and make tough decisions and do all that needs to be done.


  1. What are the top 3 things you look for in a candidate when hiring?

Apart from the obvious technical capability, I look for people with the right set of behavior and mindset. I would rather recruit a person with the right behavior, over experience. I also look for candidates who are versatile and easily adaptable; the right mindset that easily conforms to the standards of the company and willing to learn and grow.


  1. Most common mistakes candidates make on a CV or in a Job Interview?

There are a couple of mistakes that candidates make on their CVs and during a job interview. The most common is candidates writing the name of other companies [a different name that where they are applying]. This usually shows that the candidate never took time to prepare for the application in the first place.


Some CVs are disorganized and unappealing; they do not invite me as the HR Manager to go through them. There are other applicants who write their titles without a summary of what they have been doing over time. There are also a number of CVs that are full of spelling errors, making it difficult to understand. During the interview there are candidates who come for the interview unprofessionally dressed. Other candidates come to the interview with zero knowledge of the company they are interviewing at. There are also common mistakes on the application, for instance where the candidate(s) apply for the wrong position, that is, there is no connection between what they wrote on the CV and the position they are applying for.


  1. Is it beneficial for candidates if they ask questions during job interviews?

We give candidates a chance to ask questions after the interview. However, the candidates need to be careful with what type of questions they ask.

Some questions can either build their prospects or ruin everything. For example, questions about the pay need to be done carefully, otherwise they end up portraying the candidate wrongly; unlike questions concerning the rules and regulations of the company, for example, which tend to indicate the candidate’s interest.


  1. What makes a successful candidate, employee?

Confidence: the courage to articulate what they can contribute to the company.

Composure: the ability to handle pressure and offer solutions.

Versatility: the ability to transfer skills from past experiences to solve a current challenge, and lastly modesty and respect for the existing guidelines of the company.


  1. What advice would you give candidates on how to get through the probation period?

Probation should be a period of learning about the company, the stakeholders, and building good relationships, which will eventually translate to good networks.


  1. What are the top 3 first impressions you look for in a candidate during an interview?

At times, the candidate’s approach and gait; dressing and grooming, in this case I advise the candidates to avoid distractions such as too much make up, noisy high heels, shiny jewelry and such forth. Finally, I notice the candidates’ confidence and composure.


  1. Are there any current trends you’ve noticed? If so, what?

Yes. People are getting aggressive in searching for jobs, for instance dropping CVs for positions that have not been advertised yet. There is a rush to move from one company to another; on one side it is a good thing and on the other side it is a revelation of something happening within the job market in general.


In the process the candidates are making application mistakes that in one way or the other are hampering their growth. For instance a candidate applying for every open position in a single company; which shows that they have no clear career goals, a fact that leaves a bad taste and name. This movement can mean either employees are yearning for growth or employers are not doing much to retain their best employees.


  1. What kind of advice would you give to new hires?

According to a recent research study, 60% of your success depends on behavior.

I would therefore advise the new hires to constantly deliver high performances and build the right set of behaviors in line with the companies’ core values.



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